Northern Philippines Shaken by Over 400 Aftershocks Following Strong Earthquake

Northern Philippines Shaken by Over 400 Aftershocks Following Strong Earthquake
Firemen stand beside a damaged church after a strong earthquake at Ilocos Norte, Northern Philippines, on, Oct. 26, 2022. (AP Photo)
Aldgra Fredly

The northern Philippines was shaken by over 400 aftershocks on Wednesday, just hours after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck provinces in the area and caused several injuries, according to local reports.

The quake occurred at around 10:59 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday and generated about 409 aftershocks as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 81 of which were plotted or located, the state-run news agency reported.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake was centered 9 kilometers (5 miles) northwest of Lagayan town in Abra province at a depth of 11 kilometers (7 miles).

At least 26 people were injured, and several structures were damaged. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has called on residents to stay vigilant and keep out of tall structures following the aftershocks.

Marcos said the government would continue monitoring the situation amid the ongoing aftershocks and ensure that earthquake survivors in Abra have enough food and shelter.

“We do not have a critical problem when it comes to food and shelter. That is the most important part of the relief that we have to provide now for the people affected by the earthquake last night,” he said, according to his press secretary.

In Batac city also in Ilocos Norte, patients were moved out of the province’s largest hospital after parts of the ceiling in the intensive care unit fell as the building swayed. Medical consultation services were temporarily suspended as engineers assessed damage to the building, officials said.

In the town of La Paz in Abra, a century-old Christian church was damaged, with parts of its belfry collapsing and some walls cracked, littering the church’s grassy yard with debris, officials said.

At least two towns in Cagayan province temporarily lost electricity due to damaged power lines. A number of bridges and roads in outlying provinces were damaged.

Marcos said on Twitter that he was working with the relevant ministries to inspect structures, provide relief, and restore power as aftershocks continued. Schools will remain closed until the structural safety is ensured.
“I think parts, the last I heard, the last parts of the—Abra province have [sic] already have power restored,” the president was quoted as saying by his press secretary on Twitter.

The Philippine archipelago lies on the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a region along most of the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the Southeast Asian nation one of the world’s most disaster-prone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.